[Dixielandjazz] LaRocca & Bix

dingle at baldwin-net.com dingle at baldwin-net.com
Mon Oct 9 13:49:10 PDT 2006

Steve Barbone wrote:

>Bill Haesler <bhaesler at bigpond.net.au>
>>Dear friends,
>>This lot (new to me) via my mate Denis King (Australian Dance Band list).
>Dear Bill:
>Thanks for that post. Interesting to hear LaRocca. Regarding Bix, just about
>all the talking heads credit LaRocca with enormous influence on Bix. After
>all, Bix played along with ODJB records when he learned to play trumpet. And
>the first recording under Bix's name on OKEH was a LaRocca tribute via tunes
>from the ODJB repertoire.
>Regarding La Rocca inventing Jazz in Chicago, well if he wants to follow
>that line, he would have to credit both the Johnny Stein and Tom Brown bands
>from Dixieland who played jazz in Chicago before ODJB arrived wouldn't he?
>(LaRocca played in the Stein Band)
>And I think both Jelly Roll Morton and Freddie Keppard played in Chicago
>before ODJB but am not sure since I am relying on my memory of jazz history
>which may be faulty.
>Dixielandjazz mailing list
>Dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
Speaking of Tom Brown -- his younger brother was  the fine string bass 
player with the Goldkette Orchestra, Steve Brown. I am fortunate to have 
pictures of Steve and my dad in a Goldkette Unit as well as one of Bix 
and my dad witht eh Victor band  hanging on the wall. Inspiration comes 
from many sources. The reverse side of  Goldekette's Clementine is My  
Pretty Gal, and you hear slap bass by Steve -- who if he didn't invent 
it certainly refined it. It drives the band in a way that makes you 
understand why they beat Henderson's band in the fabled Battle of the 
Bands in NY in '27.
As to LaRocca being an influence on Bix, maybe, but Rosy McHargue long  
argued that it was the clarinetist Larry Shields that was far more an 
influence on Bix, and Rosy would demonstrate it in the melodic lines  
that Sheilds laid down on these early ODJB sides. I suspect Dan Levinson 
could have more to say about that as he was mentored by and a maven of Rosy.
Just my take on the subject. Gotta go stack wood, and bring some in -- 
they are calling for snow this weekend.
Time to dig out my Snowy Morning Blues sides of James P. Johnson. It 
lifts the gray and gloomy from a day when he plays and the fireplave
is warm.  That's the perfect time to turn to some music to warm the soul.
Don Ingle

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